Will Butler and his band Sister Squares (Miles Francis, Julie Shore, Will's wife Jenny Shore, and Sara Dobbs) will release their new self-titled album on September 22 via Merge. “After Generations, I considered making a weird solo record," says Will of the new album. "Me alone in the basement, etc, etc. Mostly I realized that what I wanted was the opposite."
"I had quit my band Arcade Fire very recently, after 20 years—maybe the most complex decision of my life," Will says of the circumstances leading up to this album. "I had spent the preceding two years at home with my three children. I was 39 years old. I was waking up every morning and reading Emily Dickinson, until I had read every Emily Dickinson poem. I was listening to Morrissey, to Shostakovich, to the Spotify top 50. I had unformed questions with inchoate answers. But, honestly, I was feeling great about the record.”
The album includes recent single "Willows" and they've just released a new song, "Long Grass," which borders on synthpop. “I had read this novella called Jamila by a Soviet/Kyrgyz author named Chingiz Aitmatov from the ’50s,” says Will. “It’s about an artist looking back on his childhood in a small town in Kyrgyzstan in WWII. It’s about love, and becoming an artist, and melancholy, and vast landscapes with a single train track running through them. And it reminded me of young adulthood, of wandering moodily down the train tracks. Maybe the song is also about leaving behind the things that formed us, but trying to remember the world as it used to be?” You can watch the video below.
Will Butler + Sister Squares will be on tour this fall and will play a warm-up for that at Brooklyn's Elsewhere Zone One on September 23. Tickets for all just-announced dates go on sale Friday, June 30 at 10 AM local time.